Saturday, April 28, 2018

Theodore Dalrymple (Anthony Daniels)

I am a huge fan. This week I have re-read Life at the Bottom which gave me cause to check my link to Dalrymple at this blog. It was obsolete, but is now operational.

Here is a sample of his recent writing for the Spectator:

"The furore over the parole granted to John Worboys, the rapist taxi driver, misses the point entirely — that the system of parole is disgraceful in theory and irredeemably unworkable in practice. The only thing that it is good for is the employment of large numbers of officials engaged in pointless or fatuous tasks who might other-wise be unemployed.
The system is predicated on the ability of experts to predict the future conduct of convicted prisoners. Will they or will they not repeat their crimes if let out early?"

There is nobody I read who makes me think more, and sometimes, laugh more.

Having spent over two years working with a prisoner towards parole I utterly understand the sense in Dalrymple's view. The arbitrariness of whether or not a prisoner will walk free is unacceptable.

A man is to be punished for what he has done beyond reasonable doubt, not for what some questionnaire or bogus calculation says he has a 70 per cent chance of doing at some time in the future.

But there is also a seductive humanity to monitoring how prisoners progress through the system and allowing earlier release. Some actually improve in their self-awareness and mature, though I doubt it's a majority. At the same time Dalrymple (having been a prison psychiatrist) fully comprehends some prisoner's surprising and skillful capacity to 'play the game'.

Labour can't fulfil its promises

What it sounds like when Labour realizes it can't afford its promises:

Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has defended the Government's slowly-but-surely approach to welfare reform, saying it is like to trying to turn a jumbo jet in mid-air.
"[The Ministry of Social Development] is a huge machine. It's like this massive jumbo jet that's been set on a certain direction for the last nine years," she told Newshub Nation.
"To expect me to able to put the brake on mid-air and turn that jumbo jet around immediately is a little bit unreasonable."
How lame. I've been aboard a jumbo jet on the way to Japan when the pilot's window began to develop a bubble. I can tell you it is very easy to immediately turn a jumbo jet around mid-air and head back to its departure point if need be.

I see she also mucked her numbers up - quite significantly. A sign of not being on top of her portfolio.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

How many benefit fraud accusations are false?

MSD in the gun again, this time for cutting a benefit after an apparently false dob-in was made. MSD spokeswoman (yes, RNZ actually used the gender-specific term) ....

Ms Read said the ministry gets up to 15,000 claims of benefit fraud a year through its dedicated tip-off line, and each one has to be investigated.
The ministry was not able to immediately provide figures about how many claims turn out to be false.

RNZ could have made an attempt to get a ball park number itself.

Thousands it would seem.

According to the 2016/17 Annual Report just under 6,000 cases of suspected fraud were investigated.

"Cases are investigated only when allegations have been made and there is sound information indicating that fraud may be present."

$48,054,000 was spent investigating fraud and over-payments. $48 million.

It's hardly surprising that a majority of accusations are false. There is a sizable group in society who manipulate the benefit and justice systems to their own ends. Sometimes successfully when it comes down to 'he said, she said' scenarios.

The wonderful beneficence of social security turned malignant.

My best advice to anyone concerned about becoming an 'victim' of the benefit or justice system is to avoid them at all costs.